Proposed ATV, Horse Trail In Harlan County

By: Matt Barbour Email
By: Matt Barbour Email

Officials in one county say bringing in more tourists is the answer to boosting their local economy.

People from the Cumberland, Benham and Lynch communities came together to show their support for bringing a new ATV and horse trail park to Harlan county.

“I think it would help a whole lot for other people to come even if it’s from Virginia or anywhere else to come and ride. I think it would help boom it here a little bit, I think,” said April Dinsmore of Benham.

“It's what we all need. We need tourist in here and there's a lot of people around here that rides them,” said Rubin Elderidge of Cumberland.

Once a thriving operation, officials are looking to renovate and transform Mine 32 on Black Mountain.

“You've got the facilities, they just need to be upgraded and things done with them. There's potential up there for motel rooms, there's potential up there for stables,” said Benham Mayor John Dodd.

He says the project is in the early planning stages and he is hoping to get more funding.

“So what we've been waiting on is, the adventure tourism funds just to get this thing kicked off and get it going,” he said.

And he says he is turning to those like Representative Leslie Combs for support.

“The future industry in the mountains, in Eastern Kentucky is its own, it's the tourism industry and it's the ability to create tourism,” said Rep. Combs (D) 94th District.

She says she will do what she can to support the project, that could bring more people and jobs to the area.

There is no word yet how much the project would cost, but officials hope to secure some form of funding by April.

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